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Environmental Sustainability

Environmental Sustainability

Catherine Kramer
4/21/14
Local Business, Sustainable Business

As Earth Day approaches this week, we wanted to look at the ways you can help the environment by supporting local businesses that care about our planet. Check some of those great places that promote environmental sustainability in West Michigan:

Gazelle Sports

As highlighted in a previous blog post, Gazelle Sports is B-Corp, meaning they that are focused on environmental and social change in addition to monetary profits. In terms of environmental responsibility, this means measurements of energy use, waste, and water. It also factors in environmental practices and suppliers and transportation.

WMEAC

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) works to lead environmental protection by inspiring action. They advocate for environmental sustainability, educate and connect citizens, and create positive change. Their 2nd annual Earth Day Celebration event will be at Fredrik Meijer Gardens this week.

CityFlatsHotel

CityFlatsHotel Holland was the first hotel in the Midwest to earn LEED Gold certification, and the Grand Rapids location has achieved the same certification. They use green materials, technologies, and practices in an effort to reduce their impact on the environment. They also are committed to having furniture that is manufactured locally from recycled materials.

Grand Rapids Art Museum

The first art museum in the world to be LEED Gold-certified, the Grand Rapids Art Museum made sustainability a priority in 2008 during its $60 million expansion. Given the strict temperature and humidity restrictions required for the art, energy efficiency is usually poor in museums. But the design team for the renovated museum used new technology for better insulation from recycled materials, increased natural light, and a grey water reuse system.

Grove

Grove is an “earth to table” restaurant concerned with using high-quality ingredients from local, sustainable, and family farms. They work hard to grow and maintain relationships with Michigan growers and take great care in the preparation of these products.

Brewery Vivant

As the first LEED-certified brewery in the nation, Brewery Vivant has taken a serious approach to what it means to be a sustainable business. Adopting a long-term mindset, the team at Brewery Vivant believes sustainability is of chief importance. In addition to having a list of goals, they publish an annual sustainability report to track their progress and look for ways to improve.

Downtown Market

Featuring a wide variety of food-related businesses, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market is committed to supporting local producers, innovative entrepreneurs, and Mother Earth.  Focusing on energy, water, food, chemicals, recycling, and more, the Downtown Market is working toward becoming the first LEED-certified market in the country.

Clothing Matters

When talking about ways to be more eco-friendly, few people think, “speaking of sustainability…what are you wearing?” But the team at Clothing Matters is concerning with that very thing. They work to promote social equity and decreasing pollution through their products. You can shop there feeling good about where your clothes came from.

Lemonjello's Coffee

Lemonjello’s Coffee is committed to zero waste. Instead of trash cans, they have dish bins where patrons can put any trash. The staff then sorts through and composts or recycles what otherwise would be just thrown away.

Our Brewing Co.

This Holland brewery is dedicated to environmental sustainability. In an effort to care for the earth, Our Brewing Co. sometimes even transports their kegs from Holland to Grand Rapids by bicycle! They also work with local producers to reduce their overall environmental impact.

Rockford Construction

Rockford Construction is interested in more than just buildings: they are working to build a better future through environmental sustainability. Their commitment to going green extends beyond their construction projects to their own office, which is eco-friendly in both design and practice. The building was constructed from local, recycled materials and features a green roof with trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers. Inside, they have a composting system and high-efficiency water and lighting.

Ella's

This Lowell cafe is focused on using local and organic ingredients for their coffee, food, and baked goods. Since their opening in 2009, Ella's has been commited to sustainable practices, and over 90% of their items is made from locally-sourced products.

Sip Organic Juice Bar

The folks at Sip Organic Juice Bar are enthusiastic about caring for the environment. They hope to promote community wellness through their sustainability practices. In addition to using local and organic ingredients, they compost and recycle as much as possible. 

EcoBuns

EcoBuns offers parents great eco-friendly parenting products, and in turn helpd families make a smaller footprint on our environment. They promote cloth diapering as an alternative to disposable diapers because disposable diapers are the 3rd largest consumer item in landfills and they take between 200-500 years to decompose.

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